Suddenly It Feels Like 1968

What’s going on around here? When did the Mets become a resilient team? Is this a flash in the pan or have we reached a point in the season where we thought all was lost but now winning has been found with all are angst to the early part of the season,  were we too blind to see this (Amazin’ Mets how sweet the sound that saved a wretched fan like meeeeeeeeeeeeee……………..)

I’m starting to feel a little bit of a 1968 mojo rising here with the Mets.  6-4 in the last 10 games and winning the last two series against division foes AND bouncing back from late inning loses to win the next game. Usually the walk off loses suffered in Atlanta and Philly would put the Mets in a downward spiral but  the opposite happened.  Don’t tell anyone but that’s what good teams do.

The ’68 vibe comes from the strong personality and even stronger right arm of Matt Harvey. It’s not only the on field presences he has but the legend of Matt Harvey off the field is growing as well. First was the declaration that he was not a fan of the 6 man starting rotation and the tactful way he said it. It’s kind of like when I’m elected to feed our two cats I hate opening up cat food and I make sure everyone in the house knows it but hey, I still feed the little fur balls because they have to eat just like the rest of us. Then there was the Jon Rauch story which was epic and now we have the, I hate the extra day rest and I love the Friday Night Lights of Citi Field   that Harvey let it be known he much rather take on the Nationals this Friday night than Saturday afternoon.  

The Harvey feistiness is starting to rub off on some of the other Mets as well. We have Captain and leading vote getter at 3rd base for the All Star Game David Wright throwing out F-bombs to umpires. We have Jon Niese staring down Terry Collins when he wants the ball to take him out of a game, Juan Lagares in the past week stepping up his game and of course Zack Wheeler turning on the light at the end of the tunnel.    

I really, really don’t like to compare Harvey with Seaver because it’s just not fair to Harvey so soon in his career but he has the same air of confidence that Seaver possessed from the first day he hit NY. First pitch curve for a strike? No problem. Crank a fast ball to triple digits? Watch it wiz by you? Date a super model? Come to #33 baby.  

The best gift Harvey has given Mets fans has been giving us our swagger back on days he pitches. Think about it, the Mets, the lowly, broke ass, can’t get out their way New York Mets, on the day Matt Harvey pitches can compete as equals with or are better in every game that he starts. You want match your Ace with ours, no problem bring it on. You want to match your starter in the back of your rotation with Harvey and the Mets, as Mike Francesa would say “YA BRINGIN’ UH PEESHOOTAH TOA GUN FIGHT”     

 

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Thanks NY Mets……For Nothing

Dear New York Mets,

Thanks for nothing or maybe I should say thank you for making me out to be a horse’s ass.  Yes that’s sarcasm as I really need no help most days to be a horses ass but by you taking four games from the hated NY Highlanders, well in had me intoxicated in a way I haven’t been in a long time while overdosing on the euphoria of the four game sweep and not to mention the fabulous May 28th win against Mariano Rivera that had me go into work the next day draped in blue and orange  and enter the office like Ric Flair screaming out “WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO IF YA WANT TO BE THE MAN…….YOU GOT TO BEAT THE MAN……..WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”. From there I did my best Flair strut to my cubicle withstanding the cat calls of “Shut The Fuck Up” Oh but there was no shutting me up, oh no.

As I mention I was intoxicated with Mets success, it’s not that I ask for championships, although they are fantastic and give me not better feeling as a fan, no all I want is for the Mets to be competitive. All I ask is for a summer of following the Mets and watching the rest of the division as well. How does a Nationals, Braves, Phillies, Marlins loss effect my Amazin’ Mets. I thought after the final win at The Shopping Mall of the South Bronx, there would be a kick start to the season, a season where if Matt Harvey is not on the list of probable pitchers for the day, it’s well, just another day.  

So with the momentum of a 5 game win streak and the schedule saying the Mets must go to Miami and collect 3 more wins all I thought about was an 8 game win streak headed to Washington and an underachieving Nats team, could this be? Could the Mets now be the “uh-oh” team?

This is where me being a horses ass comes in, what the hell was I thinking?  The Mets are not a good team nor are they a team that builds off positive momentum. How stupid was I?   

I’ve learned my lesson and learned it the hard way. Now I slink into work and to the local bagel store and even to church where yesterday I made sure to stand under the statue of Mary when Highlander  fans I know wanted to ridicule and make fun of me and the baseball team I love but couldn’t as I pointed above my shoulder and said “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, Let it Be”  

I’m making a vow not to get all excited again this year, not even when Zack Wheeler arrives (I don’t know if you know but Wheeler’s call up could happen at any time, it’s all over the internet I tell ya) I’m just going to suppress my enthusiasm until next year, 2014:The Resurrection of the NY Mets.  At least that’s what I heard.

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It’s Early But It’s Also Been An Encouraging Start For The NY Mets

Are we looking at a Mets Renascence ? 

I’ve been quite lax in posting on the site for the last week or so. It’s been tough to fine time to sit and write as I’ve been visiting colleges that my son has been admitted to and getting ready to move the office I work at to Downtown Brooklyn. In between that I’ve been doing my Kranepool Society podcast, Kult of Mets Personalities Podcast and of course The Sports Media Watchdog podcast.

But since I think I’m done visiting college campuses up and down the east coast and all I have to pack now is the crap in my desk, I figure let me take some time out and look at what’s going on with our Amazin’ Mets:

Matt Harvey is no longer a secret.  Each Harvey start has now become an event and there is much anticipation of a Friday night match up of Harvey v. Stephen Strasburg. Harvey just over powered the Twins line up going mainly with fastball after fastball, getting ahead in counts and then using his slider to keep Twins batters off balance. Fooling hitters. Pitching 101.

The Friday night game at Target Field was uncomfortable to watch on television so I can imagine how tough it was to play in those lousy conditions which of course didn’t hurt the Mets offense. Still,  playing baseball in ski hats and thermal underwear just out right sucks.

It gets no better as the Mets head to Denver where it supposed to be colder and just as snowy as it was in Minneapolis.  You wonder how and why MLB would send the Mets to two cities Minneapolis and Denver, so early in the season when you know it’s the only time this season the will visit and knowing the unpredictable weather both cities are known for in early spring? Phyllis Merhige the Sr. VP of MLB gets very defensive when she’s questioned about the ridiculous scheduling saying it’s very difficult to schedule 30 teams for a 162 game season. No one is questioning the effort in putting the scheduling together, what I question is the common sense that goes into making up the scheduling.

By the way, Happy Jackie Robinson Day, of course the Mets are on the road and not at Citi Field to celebrate the day Robinson made his big league debut, yeah, yeah I know it’s difficult to schedule 30 teams yada, yada, yada……………

I haven’t had time to go see “42”, I hope to go Wednesday to see it, but from what I’ve read and heard from those you have seen the film it’s quite informative and entertaining.  Can’t wait to see it.

Zach Wheeler pitched again yesterday and it was his best outing of the season. His last two starts Wheeler has been hampered by blister on the index finger of his pitching hand so yesterday’s start with 0 BB and 8 K’s was quite encouraging. I hope the Mets will promote Wheeler on merit and not leave him in Triple A just to keep his “Super 2” status in check. The days ofnickel and diming are over. Management should be bowing to Matt Harvey for rejuvenating the fan base and the thought of a Harvey-Wheeler-Niese top three in the rotation is the first ray of hope we’ve seen in a long time.  I hope the Skill Sets are aware that as soon as Matt Harvey finishes a start, Mets fan are going to the schedule counting off 4 days of rest to be ready for his next start. Harvey is now approaching Seaver/Gooden status. The same will happen with Wheeler as well. This is how you fill a ball park.

So far so good with the bullpen for the Mets. 30 K’s and just 8 BB in 27.2 IP and along with a 75 % inherited runners stranded percentage is outstanding.

Oh by the way, there is no way in hell I’d trade Wheeler and Travis D’arunad for Giancarlo Stanton .

 

          

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TURNING THE SPORTS PAGE

I think I’m just about making my final landing from my Giants Super Bowl high to where I’m ready to concentrate on baseball.  In fact I have to go to a meeting tonight to place my Babe Ruth team in a league for this coming season. What has me excited about the league we are about to join is we will play some of our games at the College of Staten Island field that was once home to the Staten Island Highlanders and we will play games in Brooklyn at the field at Bay 8th St where many of my childhood sports highs (ROCKNE football league championship as a 12 year old) and lows (getting a tooth knocked out with a forearm playing same league as a 13 year old).

As for our Amazin’ Mets well there finally is some Mets news to talk about so let’s take a look see shall we:

Story in today’s NY Times tells us something we all know, the Mets are under that old Sicilian curse  “Fundsalow” thus Sandy Alderson and his troops have had to be creative with the nickels and dimes that are at their disposal.  The real trick to see if Alderson can truly turn water into a microbrew when one or two of the starting pitchers go down with injury and he has to find help from outside. With his options limited and desire to leave the crown jewel arms on the farm we as Mets fans should start to follow the Atlantic League and some of the other Independent baseball leagues around the country as I wouldn’t be shocked it a Long Island Duck or two pitch in Flushing this season.

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

In regard to you buying the New York Mets and your response of “Who would want to own a sports team”?  Let’s me just say “I WOULD! I WOULD!” problem is a lack of dead presidents to accomplish this.  Now you sir are a man of considerable financial means of many billions of dollars, all you would have to do is donate about $1 or $1.2 billion of those tens of billions to me so I can buy the NY Mets, with all due respect your honor, Bill Gates and warren Buffet are wayyyyyyyyyyyyy ahead of you when it comes to philanthropic ventures, a move of this magnitude would most definitely raise your charitable profile.    

Big Pelf is looking to get the sinking feeling again on the mound in 2012

What in the name of Joe Verbanic is going on in with the Bronx Bastards? First, Pee Wee Cashman’ wayward ways seemed to get out of hand as the trollop he has been stepping out on Mrs. Pee Wee  with has gone into full fatal attraction mode and now we find out that the face of the YUCK network, Bob Lorenz, was sippin’ too much Old Grand Dad, got behind the wheel of his fine automobile and was pulled over by Connecticut’s Finest.  Is this just the being of the end of the Highlander reign of terror?

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THE MIRACLE HAS LANDED: THE AMAZIN’ STORY OF HOW THE 1969 METS SHOCKED THE WORLD

Even me, the Mets fan Prince of Darkness, has to take a step back sometimes to remember when the Mets ruled the baseball roost in these parts and one way to put a smile on a Mets fan’ face is to say “1969”

Ahhhhhhh yes, The Amazin’ Mets of 1969. Last summer the lone bright spot at $iti Field was the celebration of the World Champion Mets of that year and just to see all those players back together again was thrilling and exhilarating, but as I looked around at the faces of some of the fans in attendance that night, I saw a lot Mets fans who really have no connection to this team because (gasp!!!) they were to young to witness this great accomplishment.

There were 30 year old Mets fans with their children there who like their kids,  had no real attachment to this team. They never saw the black cat run by the Cubs dugout and look right at Leo Durcocher as if to say, “it’s all over Leo, surrender is near”, or cried themselves to sleep after watching Tom Seaver lose his Perfect game to a Jimmy Qualis single in the 9th inning. No cable TV, no 24-HR sports talk radio just the Daily News, NY Post (the essential newspaper for the West Cost scores as the Post was an afternoon paper in those days) and of course WOR  to find all our Mets information.

When I’m asked about that ’69 season I remember those events I’ve mentioned plus things like Opening Day, a game that featured the Mets against the brand spanking new Montreal Expos team staring Mack Jones, Adolfo Philips and a young Le Grande Orange and the Mets losing 11-10, a  9th inning rally falling short.

Now I know there are some of you who also remember that year as vividly as I do and would love to relive that season and then there are a good number of you who wish you could find out more of what it was like that season. That’s why the book The Miracle Has Landed is an essential book to add to your Mets and baseball book collection.

Matthew Silverman and Ken Samelson have done a fabulous job of getting a collection of writers together to compile essay’s on the players of the ’69 Mets, the front office, the broadcasters, the owner (bow your heads)  Mrs. Joan Payson and Manager Gil Hodges and his coaching staff (Where have you gone Rube Walker ? Mets pitchers turn their lonely pitching arms to you) and my favorite chapter on Mets scout Red Murff, who should be in the Mets Hall of Fame (if they ever build one)  Murff was the scout who signed Jerry Koosman, Jerry Grote, Ken Boswell and a kid out of Alvin Texas named Nolan Ryan (to name a few)

Do yourself a favor, don’t wait for someone to get you this book for Hanukah, Christmas, Festivus or whatever holiday you celebrate buy this for yourself as a Mets fan you will cherish this book and read it from cover to cover and in these dire uninspiring times as a Mets fans, The Miracle Has Landed will make you proud to be a Mets fan again.

The Miracle Has Landed is published by Maple Street Press in conjunction with The Society of American Baseball Research

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FEBRUARY 4, 2009 @1PM, SALUTE TO NEW YORKS 1969 WORLD CHAMPIONS

Mark your calender on Wednesday February 4th @1PM  when the New York’s World Champions will be honored at Gallaghers Steak House (228 W 52 St Manhattan) Here is the press release for the event:

Gallagher’s Steak House will host a benefit luncheon for the American Heart Association on Wednesday, February 4, 2009 featuring members of the 1969 World Champion New York Mets and Super Bowl Champion New York Jets, celebrating the 40th anniversary of their championship seasons. Right fielders Ron Swoboda and Art Shamsky, first baseman Eddie Kranepool and short stop Buddy Harrelson will be joined by Joan Hodges, the widow of manager Gil Hodges, and Maxene Agee, the widow of centerfielder Tommie Agee. Jets Super Bowl players, running back Emerson Boozer and guard Dave Herman, as well as Knicks World Champion Dr. Dick Barnett will also be on hand. The $75 package will include a three course Power Lunch, an autographed copy of Shamsky’s book “The Magnificent Seasons,” an autographed color photograph of Swoboda, and a donation to the American Heart Association. For tickets and information call Gallagher’s Steak House at 212 245 5336. Reservations are recommended. Gallagher’s Steak House is located at 228 West 52nd Street in New York City. He luncheon will feature the unveiling of a permanent photo gallery featuring the Mets, Jets and Knicks from the 1969 world championship seasons for the three teams.

Also on February 4th:

 

In 1969, yes, it was 40 years ago, man landed and walked on the moon, and the Amazin’ Mets shocked the baseball world when they went from basement to penthouse and defeated the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles in the World Series to become baseball’s World Champions. Two members of the “Miracle Mets,” Ron Swoboda, who made one of the greatest catches in World Series lore when he robbed Brooks Robinson in Game 4, and Art Shamsky, who had seven hits in the National League Championship Series to pace the Mets in their victory over the Atlanta Braves, will share their memories when Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway presents “Amazin’ Outfielders” on Wednesday night, February 4, from 7:00-9:00 PM.  The two right fielders will reminisce on the amazing season, meet and greet fans and sign autographs in Empire City’s Gotham Palace at the Entertainment Lounge. Admission is free.

 

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